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Lockdown literacies and semiotic assemblages: academic boundary work in the Covid-19 crisis

Gourlay, L; Littlejohn, A; Oliver, M; Potter, J; (2021) Lockdown literacies and semiotic assemblages: academic boundary work in the Covid-19 crisis. Learning, Media and Technology , 46 (4) pp. 377-389. 10.1080/17439884.2021.1900242. Green open access

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Abstract

In March 2020, populations were forced into home quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Universities moved the majority of their operations to homeworking, with profound implications for students, academics, and professional services staff. This paper analyses interview and visual data collected as part of a study on the impact of ‘moving online’ on staff at a large UK university. Drawing on sociomaterial perspectives, it considers the status and role of academics’ literacy practices under lockdown, focusing particularly on the ways in which a range of boundaries are negotiated – spatial, temporal, material, digital, professional, personal and emotional – in a setting where conventional boundaries have been profoundly disrupted. We argue that these practices form part of emergent, restless and shifting semiotic assemblages. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of this conceptual shift for academic work, meaning-making and academic subjectivities, in lockdown and beyond.

Type: Article
Title: Lockdown literacies and semiotic assemblages: academic boundary work in the Covid-19 crisis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2021.1900242
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1900242
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Literacy events, sociomateriality, posthumanism, semiotic assemblage, Covid-19
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125999
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